Monday, July 28, 2014         


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Kailea Tracy-Visintainer

By Paul Honda


* Seabury Hall * Track, cross country, swimming * GPA: 3.93 * College choice: Stanford


She is a combination of fire, power and … smile power.

The 400-meter sprint is a no-man’s land between short-spurted sprints and more tranquil long distances. For Kailea Tracy-Visintainer, dominating the Maui Interscholastic League was fine. But her sights were locked in on the 2011 state track and field championships, and the senior delivered.

Tracy-Visintainer placed first in the 200- and 400-meter races — setting a state-meet record time in the 200 — and anchored the 4x400 relay as little Seabury Hall came within a handful of points of shocking heavily favored Punahou. Her superb achievements gave her five gold medals in her career, along with a record time in the MIL’s 400-meter race.

Tracy-Visintainer put plenty of effort into cross country and swimming, qualifying for the state championships in cross country since her freshman year and swimming since her sophomore season.

With a 3.93 GPA, Tracy-Visintainer has still found time to give back to the Upcountry Maui community, helping with reforestation work and a multitude of volunteer roles at local runs. On campus, Tracy-Visintainer has put her efforts into spirit committee, May Day class coordinating and hula instruction and senior luau committee.

Her spirit, incidentally, was rekindled during junior year. A series of injuries led to sore joints and arch problems in her feet. Her back and hips were out of alignment. Running as a career seemed bleak.

“I cried for a long time,” she told the Maui News.

But she gave running a new shot in the fall of senior year when cross country coach Bobby Grossman encouraged her to come out.

“He allowed me to find the love again,” she said.

Kailea is the daughter of Kristin and Philippe Tracy-Visintainer. She will run for Stanford University next fall.

“It feels kind of surreal to be done and going to this banquet,” she said. “It’s not going to hit me until I’m on that plane going to California. I’m so thankful for everything. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out.”

The constant progress of girls track and field hasn’t escaped Tracy-Visintainer.  

“To me, it’s like when the men broke 4 minutes in the mile. We’re breaking new times (in Hawaii) and more and more people are re-imagining what they can do.”

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